When employees injure themselves on the job, they may have a claim for benefits under Virginia’s workers’ compensation laws. Common examples of injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation are lifting injuries, broken bones and sprains from falls, trauma from being struck by something on a construction site, machinery accidents, and much more.
When coping with these traumatic injuries, emergency medical care takes first priority, but time is of the essence with regard to the filing of workers’ compensation claims. An experienced Charlottesville workers’ compensation lawyer could help lift the burden of the legal technicalities and pursue a positive outcome to your claim. Therefore, it is highly advisable to speak with an accomplished attorney in the area if you are not being fairly compensated for your worksite injury.
Workers’ compensation is outlined in detail within the Virginia statutes under Va. Code Title 65.2, and covers workplace injuries that occur either while the employee was doing something on behalf of his or her employer or while he or she was performing a work task. This means injuries that occur outside of the scope of work are not covered by workers’ compensation.
Workers who are injured on the job should file a written notice of their injuries to their employers as soon as possible. If they wait more than thirty days to inform their employers of their injuries, they may lose their ability to claim benefits under workers’ compensation.
Under state law, certain types of misconduct can prevent employees from being able to claim workers’ compensation. If a workplace injury occurred because the employee was intoxicated, under the influence of a non-prescribed controlled substance, failed to follow safety rules, or intentionally tried to harm somebody else, he or she may be excluded from claiming workers’ compensation. A skilled workers’ comp attorney could help injured employees in Charlottesville gather evidence to show that their conduct did not fall into one of the excluded categories.
According to Virginia law, the payments available through workers’ compensation for total incapacity are generally 66 and 2/3 percent of what the injured worker earned prior to his or her injury. This is also capped at 100 percent of the average Virginia wage. The minimum payment is 25 percent of the average Virginia wage. There are also special provisions for coal workers and exclusions for AmeriCorps members and food stamp recipients. Speak with a local attorney about your workers’ compensation rights if these apply to you.
In the tragic event of a workplace death or accident that subsequently causes an employee’s death, workers’ compensation may be available to the employee’s family. Burial expenses can be covered up to $10,000 and transportation costs up to $1,000. Further, dependents of the deceased employee can receive workers’ compensation payments for 500 weeks starting at the date of the accident.
In the special situation of coal workers who die from pneumoconiosis caused by their work, their surviving spouse or dependents may claim for workers’ compensation equal to what is required by federal law. A knowledgeable lawyer in Charlottesville could assist the families of coal workers in understanding their workers’ compensation benefits and fight for a positive outcome.
If you have been injured at work, time is of the essence to make your claim for workers’ compensation. After seeking the appropriate medical treatment, injured employees should begin compiling the paperwork necessary to document and file their claim. Call today to make an appointment with a Charlottesville workers’ compensation lawyer who could answer your questions about your injury and help you reach a positive resolution to your claim.